Liberal for Macquarie Sarah Richards is calling on Labor and their local Member Susan Templeman to reject a dangerous bill by federal newcomer Kerryn Phelps.

A briefing note from the Department of Home Affairs, based on advice from ASIO and the Australian Border Force, has today warned that Dr Phelps’ bill would dismantle regional processing – one of the three pillars of the Liberals’ successful border protection policy that has stopped the boats.

Labor has committed to removing Temporary Protection Visas and has endorsed legislation that will end regional processing.

“Labor’s support of this Bill would render us powerless to effectively security check people applying for a transfer to the mainland for a medical assessment – those in detention could essentially shop around for a doctor to approve the move.”

“Our intelligence agencies’ advice is that the Department of Home Affairs would be unable to stop people with violent criminal histories from coming to the mainland.

“Labor’s actions would undoubtedly be exploited by criminals and people smugglers who would view the move as a serious weakening of our borders.

“In 2016, the Labor member for Macquarie encouraged people smugglers, who make a profit by putting thousands of people’s lives at risk, by promoting an open borders policy. ‘Let them stay’ she said of illegal immigrants. But there is nothing compassionate or humane about a policy that will ensure boat arrivals start again.

“She said her open borders policy was about ‘fairness’, but there is nothing fair about a policy that also threatens the safety of Australians at home.

The Liberal Government has removed every child from Nauru or have delivered a clear path off it and strong border protection policies have stopped the boats meaning no more children are arriving.

“The Labor member for Macquarie said she was concerned about children ‘living a life in limbo’, but you don’t get children off Nauru by putting more on. That is what Labor wants to do, by tearing apart our strong border policies.”

“Our intelligence agencies have made it clear. A weakening of our border protection policies will have dire consequences for both national security and the potential victims of people smuggling.
“I call on Bill Shorten and his Labor member to rule out supporting this dangerous Bill.”

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